CD Review: Doctor Who - Scavenger
(Big Finish Productions)
A large lump formed in my throat as I listened to the closing moments of Doctor Who: Scavenger.
Writer William Gallagher finishes the latest sixth Doctor (Colin Baker) and companion Flip Jackson (Lisa Greenwood) trilogy with a cliff hanger that leaves you wondering whether the two will ever be reunited.
It's one of those old fashioned Doctor Who style cliff hangers that had the viewer tuning in episode after episode for the classic era of the television series.
I had decided, before I started to listen to this audio story, to take breaks between each episode of this adventure, set in 2071 during an Anglo-Indian space operation. Doing so, I thought, would give me time to ponder each part before I moved on to the next. But such were the cliff hangers at the end of each part that I had to move on see how it was resolved.
Scavenger, directed by Big Finish Productions executive producer Nicholas Briggs who is also the voice of the Daleks in the modern television show, is a ripping Doctor Who yarn of yore. It follows the Doctor and Flip's adventures Antidote to Oblivion and The Brood of Erys. While you don't need to have heard those stories to appreciate this one they do make you appreciate Flip, and her uncertain fate, more at the conclusion to Scavenger.
The Doctor and Flip arrive on space station Nelson Mandella and watch Scavenger 2's operation to clean up the space junk in Earth orbit. But the operation awakens something not of Earth origin, which has been in orbit for hundreds of years. It's up to the pair to help prevent disaster, or millions of people on the planet below will die.
Of course there's expedition leader Jessica Allaway (Kate McEwen) to get in the way, distrusting the Doctor and Flip at every turn and plumbing new depths of selfishness.
But the standout performance in this story comes from The Sarah-Jane Adventures star Anjli Mohindra who plays Indian astronaut Jyoti Cutler who is befriended by the TARDIS crew.
Like the Doctor Who from the era it's emulating, Scavenger borrows many of its trappings from other science fiction. There were times when the story reminded me of the USS Enterprise's encounter with the Doomsday Machine in the classic 1960s episode of the same name and V'Ger in Star Trek: The Motion Picture.
It could be a very long time before we learn of Flip's fate, if ever if Briggs' interview in the extras is anything to go by.
Are you looking forward to seeing the new Thunderbirds?Related story: (See story)